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Sanders has shown admiration for the Christian leader

He says he met the Pope on the hallway of the Vatican guesthouse

Vatican City CNN  — 

Days before the critical New York primary, one Democratic presidential candidate is somewhere he can’t rack up any last-minute primary votes.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is at the Vatican to address a conference on social, economic and environmental issues.

He described his meeting with the Pope as “extraordinary,” saying it happened before Francis left for Greece, where he’s visiting refugees.

They met in a hallway at the Casa Santa Marta, the Vatican residence where Sanders and his wife spent the night, he said.

“It was an extraordinary moment. And I enjoyed the opportunity to chat with him,” Sanders said.

He declined to provide details on what the Pope said, saying he’d rather keep it to himself.

” I just wanted to let him know how appreciative I was and the extraordinary role he’s playing throughout the world in raising consciousness about massive levels of income and wealth inequality,” he said.

Sanders said there were no photos of the meeting.